Isn’t it ironic how when you see someone watching TV on TV, they just look so pathetic and lonely? And yet, you don’t ever think that that person is like you. That’s because TV has become such a central part of our lives. It has come to the point where even if you’re dead broke, you can shell out a measly eight dollars on a Netflix subscription. And if you tell people you spent your Friday night binge watching The Killing, nobody will bat and eyelash. No wonder we laugh at that lonely and pathetic TV-watcher on TV—no wonder we don’t think that, maybe, like him, our lives without TV could be so much better…
The thing about TV is that it’s like cigarettes; it relaxes you, so much so that you can’t help but chain smoke it every once in a while. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s way cheaper than a pack a day habit, of course. Yet, like a bad habit, TV really does kill you, in a slow and unnoticeable way. It kills your brain cells, but more than that, it kills your time. It kills your mood. It kills your energy.
We watch it to get away from our problems, our mundane lives, and be transported into another realm where we aren’t in control of anything. It’s easy to slip into this state where you feel yourself becoming the characters, like you’re right there with them, but you don’t have to think, or worry, because somehow, everything will turn out all right. Love will blossom, evil will die.
And when you pull away, or are forced to plug yourself out of this exciting life, you realize just how inadequate your own life is in comparison. You realize how many hours of your life you’ve spent sitting here watching this screen, sapping your time and energy, and it depresses you. You want to change, and tell yourself you will sit down to read a book tomorrow instead of plopping yourself down on the couch. You’ll take your kid to the park, you’ll go for a run, you’ll talk to your partner or call up an old friend.
Funny how every morning, those promises seem like silly dreams and melt away in your mind as the day goes on. It’s a cycle, one that will keep going and going until you actually, fully realize what it is that this nasty habit is doing to you, one episode at a time.
And I hope that, as you’re reading this, that time is now. I hope that, like me, you will wake up and realize that what you see on TV is just a glamorized version of life, a product of the entertainment industry intended on feeding your addiction and spending your dollars. I hope that you realize that Lucy Hale is not Aria Montgomery, and ‘A’ is just an actor wearing leather gloves and looking creepy.
Once you realize this, you’ll know that you have to get out of it, one way or another. Pick up an interesting book, something that excites you, and read for a good half hour. Reading is worth so much more than any TV show will ever be. Then get on with your life—finish that project you’ve been avoiding for so long, go for a walk, go out with a friend. And know that, while you may not be running around fighting villains, or be a smoking hot woman with a dozen men falling at her feet, your life is good enough if you live it right.